It’s been almost 3 years since Johnny Rockets opened their first store in Manila and I have never tried it before today. I avoided it because a friend has told me it was too pricey but then pricey isn’t bad if the food is worth it so we decided to give it a try.
Entering the place makes you feel like you were transported to the sixties — complete with jukebox and all. We chose a corner booth beside the entrance that was facing Fridays. It was a great choice but it didn’t take as long to realize why there weren’t people sitting in that side of the room, there was barely any air-conditioning reaching that corner (not good on a summer night). That’s -1.
They were very helpful though in helping us and another family in moving to other tables.
We ordered a half & half for appetizers. I went for the chili bowl and Lemonade, Jo chose Philly Cheese Steak and a Root Beer Float, and Lance had a hard time deciding but went for Bacon Cheddar Single and also a Root Beer Float.
Root Beer Float – Vanilla ice cream and Sarsi, served in wonderful old school Coca-Cola glasses (Php 175)
Half & Half – Half American Fries & Half onion rings. Eaten as is or dip into Tartar sauce or Ketchup. (Php 175)
Chili Bowl – Described in their menu as “Our exclusive home style, all-meat recipe”. (Php 285)
Half-eaten Bacon Cheddar Single – Smoked bacon, double cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce, fresh tomato, white onion & special sauce. Comes with unlimited fries. (Php 395)
Philly Cheese Steak – Thinly sliced sirloin steak, topped with grilled onions & cheese. Also, served with unlimited fries. (Php 395)
What I liked:
- If you chose the refillable drinks, you could switch between iced tea, lemonade, or any soda.
- Refill of Sarsi if you still have some ice cream left
- Unlimited fries (though we never really got to ask for refills)
- Ketchup smileys
- They dance!
What I didn’t like (other than the sections with poor air-conditioning):
- Salty, salty chili bowl. Even eating several crackers at once didn’t help a bit.
- When they cleared our first table, they left sandwich wrappers on the table and we had to point it out twice before they got it.
- Except for the manager, the servers never really pay attention. It takes 15-20 minutes to get served water or the bill.
Verdict? Ok but definitely nothing special and when you factor in the steep price, you’re left wanting.
As we went out of the store, I wish we chose Friday’s instead. I don’t think I’ll be going back any time soon.